Seoul will offer a “voucher taxi” service this year to 10,000 non-wheelchair using disabled individuals, which will provide such individuals up to KRW 20,000 in taxi fare. Individuals with serious physical illnesses, respiratory diseases, autism, and intellectual disabilities who were using taxis for the disabled can now use voucher taxis starting in May 2019.
The service that was once only offered to the visually disabled and those with kidney disabilities will now be extended to all individuals with disabilities, including those that do not require wheelchairs. The voucher taxi is a taxi for which the city pays a part of the fare that uses call taxi companies that have partnerships with the city of Seoul.
With the raise in taxi fares in 2019, the city increased the maximum amount of support funds from KRW 15,000 to KRW 20,000 (65%→70%) in order to reduce the gap and increase transportation convenience for the disabled.
Seoul anticipates that the increase in voucher taxis will increase transportation convenience for disabled individuals when boarding vehicles, requiring just 5-10 minutes of wait time thanks to a dispersion in movement. The “call taxis for the disabled” and “welfare calls for the disabled” vehicles that disabled individuals used to use required up to 50 minutes of waiting due to a lack of vehicles.
Seoul invested KRW 5 billion this year to increase availability for 3,000 more users in May and October while offering the service to a total 10,000 individuals annually (including the existing 4,000 users). In 2020, the city aims to invest KRW 10 billion to expand the service to reach 20,000 disabled individuals.